By The Edge Retail Academy
Omaha, NE—For any jeweler, building the better-end diamond business is an understandable objective: diamond ring sales represent as little as 2% of volume sold (and effort required) but can contribute up to half or more of a store’s sales. On those numbers alone, it’s easy to see why it should be given priority: it would take a lot of silver earrings to achieve those numbers!
Within diamonds, of course the bridal market is the golden egg, but it is also the most competitive. So, how do you position your store to become the most sought-after place for bridal jewelry?
Let’s take a step back first and ask a more important question: Is the bridal market where my business should be positioned? This may seem like a strange question—rather like Serena Williams asking if she should try to win the U.S. Open—but in many ways, it’s not such an odd question. Why? Because it depends on what game you are best suited to be playing.
Sure, Serena should try and win the Open, provided it’s tennis. If we’re talking golf, then she’s going to be facing much better players. There may be better prize money for the golf tournament, but that’s no consolation if she can’t win at golf.
Likewise trying to play the bridal game when it’s not your strength can result in a lot of effort wasted for minimal returns.
There are many other lucrative diamond areas worth pursuing that can be very profitable. For instance, one store in a small farming town was making good progress with growing their business in all areas except engagement rings. The owners tried everything they could for two years to make this area appealing, but repeatedly lost out to stores in the larger city an hour away.
Eventually they faced the reality that many members of that younger demographic would always prefer the excitement and selection of buying in the city, and they changed their focus. Their market became wealthy farmers’ wives, ages 35-65. They were more loyal, sought a more personal service and, more importantly, had more discretionary money to spend. The jeweler was able to lift the percentage of diamond business from around 8% of total sales to almost 30% over the next few years.
Know your strengths and market and play the right game.
So let’s assume that you’ve asked yourself the most important question, and you still feel that bridal is the best market for you. What can you do to make yourself stand out?
2. Be proactive. The days of the retailer opening their doors and waiting for the public to walk in and buy have gone. You have to look for opportunities. Area bridal shows can be great opportunities here. One of our consultants has built a great bridal business around a formula they have used in their own store: set a goal of what you consider to be your bridal target for annual sales. Determine where you are at now and decide how much you are willing to spend on your marketing to reach this goal. Set the marketing budget and don’t forget to look into co-op advertising to help your dollars go further
3. Get the inventory right. You won’t please the market with the wrong products. Do you have an exclusive brand or private label diamond? Does the average value of your inventory match what you want to achieve in average sale? What percentage of your bridal inventory is old? What diamond cuts and shapes do you sell and does your inventory reflect this?
4. Are your store policies attractive? Do you have an aggressive layaway program? Do you have a strong finance plan? Do you offer trade-in or have a diamond pledge? Is there a point of difference that will make customers come to you? If you want to catch the right fish you have to have the right bait. If your in-house rules are restricting your growth in this area, you need to revise them.
5. Is your staff ready for action? Have they been sufficiently trained to sell diamond product? Do you know who your best diamond salesperson is and do you make sure they get the opportunities to sell diamonds before anybody else?
The Edge Retail Academy provides customized strategies for retailers and vendors to increase profits, optimize growth, reduce debt, create profitable inventory solutions, build effective teams, and enhance brand loyalty and profitability. The Academy is committed to helping jewelry businesses improve their bottom line and reduce uncertainty and stress. Edge Retail Academy software and business advisors provide real-world knowledge and advice for guaranteed results, all on a “no-contract” basis. For more information, call 877-569-8657, ext. 1, email Becka@EdgeRetailAcademy.com or visit www.edgeretailacademy.com.
Originally published in The Centurion.